peter riegert

The Enduring Career of Peter Riegert

Peter Riegert is a chameleon of the acting world. Throughout his five-decade career, he’s effortlessly transformed himself into a wide range of characters, from the toga-clad frat boy Boon in “Animal House” to the uptight cop Lieutenant Kellaway in “The Mask.” Riegert’s versatility and dedication to his craft have earned him a loyal following and critical acclaim.

College Hijinks and Breakout Roles

Born in New York City in 1947, Riegert initially pursued teaching before transitioning to acting. His big break came in 1978 with the iconic comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Though Riegert wasn’t a college student at the time of filming (he was already in his 30s!), his portrayal of the studious, rule-breaking Boon captured audiences’ hearts and established him as a comedic talent.

Comedy: Dramatic Depths

Riegert’s talents extend far beyond comedy. Throughout the 80s and 90s, he showcased his dramatic range in films like “Local Hero” and “Crossing Delancey.” He earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the HBO film “Barbarians at the Gate” and critical praise for his portrayal of the crooked politician Ronald Zellman on “The Sopranos.”

Directing Debut and Short Film Success

Beyond acting, Riegert has also ventured into directing. His short film “By Courier,” a heartwarming story about a young boy and an aging courier, garnered critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film in 2000.

Television Takeovers and Recent Success

Riegert has graced television screens for decades, appearing in shows like “Damages,” “The Good Wife,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and most recently, a recurring role on the critically acclaimed HBO series “Succession.”

A Legacy of Versatility

Peter Riegert’s career is a testament to his dedication and talent. He has seamlessly transitioned between comedy and drama, captivating audiences with his portrayal of everything from comedic foils to complex anti-heroes. With no signs of slowing down, Riegert continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.


Peter Riegert’s impressive career serves as an inspiration for aspiring actors. His commitment to his craft and his willingness to take on diverse roles have solidified his place in Hollywood history. With his ever-expanding filmography and captivating performances, Peter Riegert is sure to continue entertaining audiences for years to come.


  • Q: Is Peter Riegert still acting?

A: Yes! Riegert remains active in both film and television. He recently appeared in a recurring role on the hit HBO series “Succession” and continues to take on new projects.

  • Q: What is Peter Riegert best known for?

A: While many recognize him from his role as Boon in “Animal House,” Riegert has a diverse filmography. He’s earned acclaim for both comedic and dramatic roles, including his work on “The Sopranos” and “Damages.”

  • Q: Did Peter Riegert win an Oscar?

A: Riegert has not won an Oscar, but his short film “By Courier” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film in 2000.

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